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Dublin: 22 °C Tuesday 4 August, 2020

Anyone with a fada in their name will relate to this Irish girl's struggles with Three

“You must provide a valid last name.”

AS ANYONE WITH lots of vowels or a fada in their name will tell you, it’s not easy having an Irish name.

Earlier today, Caoimhe Ní Chathail was using Three’s website when she encountered a problem: the website refused to accept her name on account of it being Irish.

She outlined her frustration in a series of tweets to Three.

Three’s suggestion? Translate your name into English.

three Source: Three Ireland/Twitter

Oh dear.

Needless to say, Three’s suggestion did not go over well.

“The fact that translation into English seems to be the answer here is ridiculous,” she wrote. “I have every right to use my name in Irish.”

The interaction subsequently went viral with many criticising Three’s initial response, as well as their site’s inability to deal with Irish language names.

Three later apologised for the “embarrassing slip up” and promised they were “working on a solution”.

So what did Ní Chathail make of the fuss? She told that she was “quite overwhelmed by the extent to which it blew up,” but wasn’t that surprised on account of how active the Irish language community are on social media.

The Irish language community on Twitter is very strong and I felt really supported in my views. There was no nastiness about it all, just genuine concern at the lack of respect Three appeared to have for Irish.
Twitter is such a powerful platform and I really hope all the attention has shown Three and other companies that it’s about time changes and improvements were put in place.

She explained that companies not recognising Irish language names is a common occurrence, hence her frustration.

“The reason I decided to highlight it is because so many people have to deal with the exact same situation every day,” she stated. “Whether it’s a lack of respect for wanting your name in Irish or software not being able to handle a fada, it’s a daily occurrence.”

While she was “infuriated” by Three’s response, she stated that she has since accepted the company’s apology and intends to follow up.

My plan now is to get in contact via email and make sure that something is actually done about improving their website. They have assured me and a number of others that they will be looking into it but I want to make sure something actually comes of all of this.

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About the author:

Amy O'Connor

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